“The only real struggle in the history of the world… is between the vested interest and social justice.” ~ Arnold Toynbee
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
On January 16, 1865, Union general William T.
Sherman issued his Special Field Order No. 15, which
confiscated as Federal property a strip of coastline
stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the
St. John's river in Florida, including Georgia's Sea
Island's and the mainland thirty miles in from the
1. The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned
rice-field along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John's River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.
2. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, the blacks may remain in their chosen or accustomed vocations; but on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United States military authority, and the acts of Congress. By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro is free, and must be dealt with as such. He cannot be subjected to conscription, or forced military service, save by the written orders of the highest military authority of the department, under such regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe. Domestic servants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other mechanics, will be free to select their own work and residence, but the young and able-bodied negroes must be encouraged to enlist as soldiers in the service of the United States, to contribute their share toward maintaining their own freedom, and securing
their rights as citizens of the United States.
Negroes so enlisted will be organized into companies, battalions, and regiments, under the orders of the United States military authorities, and will be paid, fed, and clothed, according to law. The bounties paid on enlistment may, with the consent of the recruit, go to assist his family and settlement in procuring agricultural implements, seed, tools, boots, clothing, and other articles necessary for their livelihood.
3. Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of families, shall desire to settle on land, and shall have selected for that purpose an island or a locality clearly defined within the limits above designated, the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations will himself, or by such subordinate officer as he may appoint, give them a license to settle such island or district and afford them such assistance as he can to enable them to establish a peaceable agricultural settlement. The three parties named will subdivide the land, under the supervision of the inspector, among themselves, and such others as may choose to settle near them, so that each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground, and, when it borders on some water-channel, with not more than eight hundred feet water-front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title. The quartermaster may, on the requisition of the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, place at the disposal of the inspector one or more of the captured steamers to ply between the settlements and one or more of the commercial points heretofore named, in order to afford the settlers the opportunity to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the products of their land and labor.
4. Whenever a negro has enlisted in the military service of the United States, he may locate his family in any one of the settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead, and all other rights and privileges of a settler, as though present in person. In like manner, negroes may settle their families and engage on board the gunboats, or in fishing, or in the navigation of the inland waters, without losing any claim to land or other advantages derived from this system. But no one, unless an actual settler as above defined, or unless absent on Government service, will be entitled to claim any right to land or property in any settlement by virtue of these orders.
5. In order to carry out this system of settlement, a general officer will be detailed as Inspector of Settlements and plantations whose duty it shall be to visit the settlements, to regulate their police and general arrangement, and who will furnish personally to each head of a family, subject to the approval of the President of the United States, a possessory title in writing, giving as near as possible the description of boundaries; and who shall adjust all claims or conflicts that may arise under the same, subject to the like approval, treating such titles altogether as possessory. The same general officer will also be charged with the enlistment and organization of the negro recruits, and protecting their interests while absent from their settlements; and will be governed by the rules and regulations prescribed by the War Department for such purposes.
6. Brigadier-General R. Saxton is hereby appointed Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, and will at once enter on the performance of his duties. No change is intended or desired in the settlement now on Beaufort Island, nor will any rights to property heretofore acquired be affected thereby.
By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,
L. M . Dayton, Assistant Adjutant-Gene
Last Will and Testament of Mrs. Margret Ann Harris of McIntosh County Georgia, year of our Lord 1865. This is to certify to all whom it may concern that I Margret Ann Harris of my own free will do by this present my last Will and Testament do be queath and convey to Robert Dellegall Formerly my slave now a freedman on Saint Catharine's Island Liberty County Georgia and to his heirs Executors Administrators and assigns forever to have and to hold possess and convey all rights or titles vested in me to four several tracts of Land lying and being in the County of McIntosh State of Georgia. Namely, Harris Neck, Dunham, Belvedere, and Dillon Tracts, with all rights titles__________________________& claims in Equity or in law to me or my heirs Executors administrators or assignees appertaining. Now henceforth and forever to be vested in the aforesaid Robert DEllegall his heirs Executors administrators and assignees. On condition that the aforesaid Robert Dellegal on and from the date hereof provide on cause to be provided all that mayor shall be necessary to make me and my son Namely Bright Harris comfortable while we live in dwelling clothing food and such medical attendance as either of us or both may require. I have tried white men and they have cheated me, abused and driven of my people. I now choose Robert who I have raised to take care of me and my son and agree by this very last Will and Testament that all rights and titles vested in me to the aforesaid four tracts of Land are on the above conditions vested in the aforesaid Robert Dellegall and his heirs as aforesaid forever. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, and in witness of my desire of the faithful performance of this my last Will & Testament _ hereby appoint as my Executors T. G. Campbell general superintendent of Saint Catharine's & Ausabaw Islands Georgia & T. G. Campbell Jr. assistant superintendent of Saint Catherine's Island and Ausabaw Island Georgia
I also hereby convey all right and title to Building, Tenaments Houses to the aforesaid Robert DEllegall as aforesaid & his heirs forever, and I hereby Empower these my two Executors to act for me and carry out this my last Will and Testament.
September 2 1865. Witness my hand and seal. Signed Margret Ann Harris
Internal Revenue Stamp
By request of the testam signed before me
this 2nd day of September 1865. South End of Saint Catharine Island Georgia Liberty County signed T. G. Campbell
General Superintendent Saint Catherine Island
& Ausabaw Georgia
Tunis Campbell was the highest-ranking and most influential African American politician in nineteenth-century Georgia. Born on April 1, 1812, in Middlebrook, New Jersey, he was the eighth of ten children of free black parents. From ages five to eighteen he attended an otherwise all-white Episcopal school in Babylon, New York, where he trained for missionary service with the American Colonization Society's program of transporting African Americans to Liberia. Upon graduation—which coincided with the onset of the second Great Awakening and the rise of William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator —Campbell joined the Methodist Church and threw himself into evangelical uplift. In 1832 he founded an anticolonization society and pledged "never to leave this country until every slave was free on American soil."
While he preached against slavery and established schools, Campbell worked as a hotel steward in New York City and Boston. His Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and Housekeepers' Guide (1848) provides practical information for supervising and running a first-class hotel, but the book is more valuable for its instruction in interracial social skills, its insistence that managers recognize the dignity of labor, and its emphasis on the need for workers to be educated, well paid, prompt, clean, and competitive. White employers described Campbell as a man disposed "to elevate the condition and character of persons of his color."
Before the Civil War (1861-65) he actively participated in the Colored Convention Movement and often shared the stage with the writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. By 1861 Campbell was married, had three children, and was a copartner in a New York bakery. In 1863 U.S. secretary of war Edwin Stanton commissioned the fifty-one-year-old Campbell to work in Port Royal, South Carolina, where former slaves were gathering under the protection of the U.S. military.
After Union general William T. Sherman captured Savannah in December 1864, on his march to the sea, and Congress set up the Freedmen's Bureau in March 1865, Campbell was appointed to supervise land claims and resettlement on five Georgia islands: Ossabaw, Delaware, Colonels, St. Catherines, and Sapelo. Georgia planters, who received pardons from U.S. president Andrew Johnson, regained control of these islands in 1866. Campbell quickly purchased 1,250 acres at Belle Ville in McIntosh County and there established an association of black landowners to divide parcels and profit from the land.
In 1867 Congress ordered a further Reconstruction of the South. As vice president of the Republican Party in Georgia, Campbell worked to register voters before being elected as a justice of the peace, a delegate to the state constitutional convention, and a state senator from the Second Senatorial District (Liberty, McIntosh, and Tatnall counties). In the legislature Campbell pushed for laws for equal education, integrated jury boxes, homestead exemptions, abolishment of imprisonment for debt, open access to public facilities, and fair voting procedures. As a justice of the peace, minister, and political boss, Campbell organized a black power structure in McIntosh County that protected freed people from white abuses, whether against their bodies or in labor negotiations. He headed a 300-strong African American militia that guarded him from reprisals by the Ku Klux Klan or others, even though his home was burned, he was poisoned, and his family lived in constant fear.
After Democrats regained state power in 1871 by forcing Republican Governor Rufus Bullock to flee the state, they began a concerted effort to overturn Reconstruction. Campbell's seat was taken, and a series of lawsuits kept him in legal trouble. He traveled to Washington, D.C., where he met with U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant and Senator Charles Sumner to urge that the government intervene actively to save Reconstruction. Finally, in 1876, while the U.S. attorney general tried to free him, Campbell was convicted of malfeasance in office, taken from a Savannah jail, handcuffed, chained, and leased out for one year to a convict labor camp. Upon release he went immediately to Washington to meet with U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes and wrote a small book, Sufferings of the Reverend T. G. Campbell and His Family in Georgia (1877). He died in Boston on December 4, 1891.